Durban - Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, including university students and his controversial son Edward, defied the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) on Thursday night by donning ANC colours at a night vigil in Durban.
MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus was also spotted wearing an MKMVA shirt.
Party Secretary General Ace Magashule last month said the party structures and colours should not be associated with campaigns to support Zuma when he appears at the Durban High Court on Friday.
Edward Zuma said he was not defying ANC instructions because the ANC T-shirt he was wearing was a personal item.
“I am a member of the ANC, although I am here to support the former president as the citizen of the country,
“I am a member of the ANC who happens to support the former president,” he said.
When asked if he was not worried about disciplinary action for dressing in party regalia and defying the NEC, he said “I will cross that bridge when we get there.”
He said he hoped that residents of Nkandla, Zuma’s hometown, would also be part of the activities to support his father.
Edward was among Zuma supporters, many of them also in ANC regalia, who marched from Steve Biko Road outside Durban University of Technology (DUT) to join their counterparts at Albert Park for the night vigil led by church leaders.
Earlier, organisers went to student residences around Durban pleading with students to come out to support Zuma.
The gathering at the Albert Park was a whole night prayer for Zuma, who will appear on Friday morning before Judge Themba Sishi facing arms deal related corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges.
The former president is accused of taking bribes from French arms maker Thales over a contract worth R30 billion during his time as a provincial economy minister and then deputy ANC president.
A small group of students wearing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) T-shirts were also among the group that gathered outside DUT, but they said they supported Zuma and were not fearful of angering their own party which has for years been calling for Zuma’s removal.
Hlanganani Dlomo, ANC activist and leader of the march, accused the ANC’s national executive committee of being unfair by banning the party from supporting Zuma.
“Zuma is a member of the ANC. We are wearing the colours because nobody owns green, black and gold,” he said.
He said the supporters had a right to wear the ANC regalia.
Bonginkosi Phakathi, a convenor of the Defend Zuma campaign at DUT, said he wore his T-shirt because he could not understand the NEC’s call for the ANC to not be affiliated with Friday’s court appearance.